Working a twelve to sixteen hour job is bad enough. No one wants to be reminded of work during the few hours a day when they are both not at work and not asleep.
But sometimes, you just have to call them. Maybe you need the UPM’s approval, or you need to tell a crew member about a changed call time. Doesn’t matter if it’s right after wrap or two hours before call, getting that call outside of work hours sucks.
So, if you’re the one making that call (and since you’re reading this blog, it probably is you), be aware of this suckiness. Start the call with, “Hi, X, I’m sorry to call after wrap, but…” or “Hey, I know your call isn’t for another hour, but…”
It’s a just a simple, easy way to acknowledge that yes, we’re both people, and we have emotions, and while I empathize with yours, there is still a task I must accomplish.
Yes, this is a job. We don’t work in show friends, we work in show business. We’re not here to make each other feel warm and fuzzy.
But we don’t have to jerks about it, either.
Which brings me to a larger point. Too many people use the “it’s a job” rationale to treat others like mindless robots, who must follow orders with out question or hesitation simply because money is changing hands.
If you signed the contract, agreed to do a given job for a given rate, you are certainly obligated to do the work that’s demanded, or tender resignation. If that means taking calls at all hours of the day and night, well, you have to decide for yourself whether that trade off is worth it.
However, just because someone is under obligation, doesn’t mean you should treat them that way. We’re all human beings trying to make our way in the world, and a little politeness or (unnecessary) deference will help everybody get along better.
And in the end, people will remember that you were nice, even when you had to be demanding.